Idaho Legislative Session Begins
by Rep. Dorothy Moon – District 8 B
First, let me thank you for the privilege of serving you in the Idaho State Legislature. I am working diligently on your behalf to direct very important legislation through this year’s session. I hope to co-sponsor again legislation to repeal the State’s grocery tax. This tax reduction effort seems a responsible move as Idaho has again collected about $276 million more dollars than expected via the existing tax plan. A six percent reduction in grocery costs will significantly reduce the burden for many families and senior citizens while helping to make Idaho more competitive with her neighboring states.
In the Governor’s State of the State he laid out his plans to grow Idaho’s budget by 9.2%. This would create an additional 500 government employees. Some of the particulars include the resurrection of the “Drop Out Scholarship” as he titles the Adult Completer Scholarship, $100 million to increase the size of the Medicaid program, and $4 million for more teacher professional development instead of directing money to the schools. These are just a few examples of what I will be fighting against.
Representatives Moon and Boyle – Bundy Release
On Monday, January 8th, Judge Navarro dismissed with prejudice the primary defendants in the Bunkerville Standoff, third trial. Cliven Bundy and sons Ammon and Ryan, are finally free from federal prosecution. This injustice, having been exposed through the efforts of many, including 53 Idaho legislators in a letter I wrote to Attorney General Sessions. Fortunately Congressman Raul Labrador was able to put the letter in A.G. Session’s hands helping to shine a light on the injustices that occurred in the Nevada Federal Courthouse. The Bundy family was considered dangerous and locked away for almost two years awaiting trial without bail only to have a BLM whistle blower expose the true danger of an over-reaching federal response and prosecution. Men are still in prison because of this terrible travesty, so we must not hold back any effort to liberate them and the cause for which they have paid an awful price.
Forest Service Planning
I have been working all last year with the Salmon-Challis Forest on citizen complaints and federal over-reach issues. I have helped form a citizens group called the Lemhi-Custer Grassroots Advisory to provide comment and direction for the new Forest Assessment. The Assessment will guide the direction of the management of our forest through a new plan to be implemented for decades to come. Citizen involvement is critical in this process. We have negotiated with the Forest Supervisor an additional 5 months for comments through May 4, 2018. I have been in contact with the Chief of the Forest, Tony Tooke, asking for his promise that the citizens who live and work in the Salmon-Challis Forest will be given a huge voice in the direction of the new plan. The Salmon-Challis Forest Plan will serve as a template for future plans written in Idaho. I am very hopeful everyone in Idaho gets involved in this planning process. For the sake of future generations of Idahoans we must use our public lands for multiple use, not the denial of access because of new wilderness or wild and scenic designations. Contact me if you would like to be involved at 208-781-1782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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